Everything You Need to Know About the University of Rhode Island

As a high school senior narrowing down your list of colleges, there’s a good chance the University of Rhode Island has crossed your radar. Nestled along the southern Rhode Island shoreline, its striking coastal campus may catch your eye.

But beyond the scenery, URI offers top-ranked academic programs tailored to student success. With a reasonable price tag and solid career prep, it should be on your shortlist. Stick around as we break down everything you need to know – from acceptance rates to social scenes and academic strengths.

By the end, you’ll have keen insight on whether URI is the right fit for you.

Overview of the University of Rhode Island

The University of Rhode Island (URI) is Rhode Island’s flagship public research university. Founded in 1892, it’s located in the coastal town of Kingston, about 30 minutes south of Providence. URI offers over 80 majors across nine colleges and schools. It has a student population of about 18,000, including over 15,000 undergraduates.


URI’s strengths lie in engineering, business, nursing, and marine sciences. It has highly ranked programs in engineering, pharmacy, library sciences, and physical therapy. Some of the most popular majors are nursing, communication studies, psychology, and marketing. URI also has opportunities for internships, study abroad, and undergraduate research.

Campus Life

URI’s campus spreads over 1,200 acres and has a traditional collegiate feel with red brick buildings and lots of green space. On-campus housing is guaranteed for two years. There are over 300 student organizations to get involved in, from cultural clubs to community service groups to sports teams. URI also has an active Greek life, with over 30 fraternities and sororities.


URI’s location in historic Kingston puts you within 30 minutes of Rhode Island’s beaches and capital city. The campus is a 5 minute drive to the beaches of South County and the summer resort towns of Narragansett and Matunuck. Providence, known for great food, culture, nightlife and entertainment, is also just a 30 minute drive north. Boston is about an hour away.

With strong academics, an vibrant campus environment, and proximity to Rhode Island’s natural and cultural attractions, URI offers an appealing college experience at an affordable price for in-state and out-of-state students alike. Everything you could want in a college is right within your reach at the University of Rhode Island.

Academic Programs at the University of Rhode Island

The University of Rhode Island offers over 80 undergraduate majors and more than 50 graduate programs across nine colleges. No matter what you’re interested in studying, URI likely has a program for you.

College of Arts and Sciences

The largest college at URI, the College of Arts and Sciences offers a wide range of majors from anthropology to physics to psychology. If you’re undecided, this is a great place to start exploring your options. Some of the most popular majors are:

  • Communication Studies: Learn skills like public speaking, writing, and interpersonal communication that translate to many careers.

  • Psychology: Study human behavior and mental processes. URI has research opportunities and internships for undergrads.

  • English: Analyze literature and learn skills like critical thinking, writing, and communication that provide a strong foundation for many jobs.

College of Business

For future business leaders and entrepreneurs, the College of Business has programs to prepare you for success.

  • Accounting: Develop technical skills to work as an accountant or auditor. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

  • Finance: Learn how to analyze investments, manage financial risks, and make strategic business decisions. Many grads go on to become financial analysts, advisors, and managers.

  • Marketing: Study how to conduct market research, create promotional campaigns, and develop new products to meet customer needs. Careers in marketing, advertising, and public relations abound.

College of Engineering

The College of Engineering offers competitive programs to prepare students for careers as engineers and computer scientists. Some of the majors include:

  • Mechanical Engineering: Focus on the design, development, testing, and manufacturing of mechanical and thermal devices. This versatile degree leads to many job opportunities.

  • Computer Science: Learn programming, software engineering, and theoretical foundations of computing. Grads are in high demand for software engineering and web development jobs.

  • Biomedical Engineering: Apply engineering principles to solve problems in biology and medicine. Students have opportunities for internships and research. Careers improving health care technologies await.

No matter your interests, URI has a program to start you on a path to success. With hands-on learning opportunities, internships, study abroad options, and dedicated faculty, you’ll get the experience you need to achieve your goals.

Campus Life at the University of Rhode Island

The University of Rhode Island has a vibrant campus life with over 200 student clubs and organizations to get involved in. No matter what you’re interested in, you’re sure to find your niche.

Student Activities

  • Join the Student Senate or Class Boards to have a say in campus decisions and organize events.

  • Check out cultural groups like the Asian Students Association or Latin American Student Association.

  • Get active in community service organizations like Habitat for Humanity or Best Buddies.

  • Explore your interests in academic clubs for every major from Chemistry Club to History Society to Wildlife & Conservation Biology Club.

  • Try out recreational clubs for gaming, comedy, dance, music, and more.

Greek Life

About 10% of URI students join one of the many fraternities or sororities on campus. Rush week is a great chance for first-year students to explore the different Greek houses and find where you fit in.

Campus Events

There’s always something going on at URI, from guest lectures and comedy shows to cultural festivals and homecoming week.

  • Catch a show at the Edwards Auditorium or Fine Arts Center.

  • Cheer on the Rams at a football, basketball, or hockey game.

  • Unwind at the weekly Yoga & Meditation sessions or Midweek Movie Madness screenings.

Living on campus, especially in your first year, is the best way to take advantage of everything URI has to offer. Between the dorms, dining halls, gym, and student center, you’ll build lifelong friendships and memories. The campus life at URI gives you a chance to explore your interests, gain valuable life skills, and become part of a community. Four years may seem like a long time, but enjoy each moment – your time at URI will fly by!

Athletics at the University of Rhode Island

The University of Rhode Island, also known as URI, has a long history of athletic excellence. As a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference in NCAA Division I, URI competes in a variety of men’s and women’s sports.

Men’s Sports

The URI Rams men’s teams include:

  • Baseball – Competing at the Bill Beck Field, the Rams baseball team has reached the College World Series five times.

  • Basketball – The men’s basketball team plays at the Ryan Center and has reached the NCAA tournament eight times.

  • Football – The Rams football team plays at Meade Stadium and has won three conference titles.

  • Soccer

  • Track and Field

Women’s Sports

The URI Rams women’s teams include:

  • Basketball – The women’s basketball team has reached the NCAA tournament four times, most recently in 2019.

  • Field Hockey – The field hockey team has won eight conference titles and reached the Final Four twice.

  • Gymnastics

  • Lacrosse

  • Rowing – The women’s rowing team has won two conference titles.

  • Soccer – The women’s soccer team has reached the NCAA tournament six times.

  • Softball – The softball team has won five conference titles and reached the Women’s College World Series in 1983.

  • Swimming/Diving

  • Track and Field

  • Volleyball

With 23 Division I sports teams, there are plenty of opportunities to catch an exciting Rams game. Student tickets to all home athletic events are free for URI students. Put on your blue and keel, and cheer on your fellow Rams!

University of Rhode Island Frequently Asked Questions

So you’re interested in attending the University of Rhode Island? Great choice! URI is the flagship public research university in Rhode Island, with over 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students across multiple campuses. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about URI:

Where is the University of Rhode Island located?

URI’s main campus is located in Kingston, Rhode Island, about 30 minutes south of Providence. The campus is situated on 1,250 acres in a rural setting, with easy access to Rhode Island’s coastline and beaches.

What majors and degrees does URI offer?

URI offers over 80 undergraduate majors across nine colleges and schools. Some of the most popular majors are nursing, communication studies, psychology, and engineering. URI also offers over 70 master’s and doctoral degree programs. Whether you’re interested in the arts and humanities, business, education, engineering, environment and life sciences, health sciences, social sciences, or another field of study, URI likely has a program for you.

What activities and events does URI have?

URI hosts over 300 clubs and organizations as well as lots of events and activities to get involved in outside the classroom. Some options include:

  • Attending football, basketball, soccer or ice hockey games to cheer on the URI Rams.

  • Participating in intramural sports like flag football, basketball, and tennis.

  • Joining cultural organizations like the African Student Association or Chinese Student Association.

  • Attending guest lectures, cultural events, and performances at the Edwards Auditorium and Fine Arts Center.

  • Participating in Fall Fest, Spring Fest, or other campus traditions.

There’s truly something for everyone at URI, so you’ll have opportunities to explore your interests and enrich your college experience.

How much does it cost to attend URI?

For in-state residents, URI’s annual tuition and fees are about $15,000. Room and board costs an additional $13,000. URI offers generous scholarships, grants, work-study, and loan programs to help make a college education affordable. Over 75% of undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid. For out-of-state residents, annual tuition and fees are around $33,000.


So there you have it, everything you need to know about the University of Rhode Island! You have an overview of the campus and its history, the student life, the academics, and some key facts and figures. Hopefully you now have a good feel for whether URI might be a good fit for you or not. If you’re interested in learning more, be sure to check out their website or visit campus. And if you do decide to attend, get ready for four great years by the ocean filled with top-notch academics and fun extracurricular activities. Go Rams!

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